In all my years of bass fishing, the number one thing that has increased my catch rate and weight total has to be due to the notes I kept in my logbook early on. I still use the same notes even today. Year after year I would add to it locating stumps, rocks, or something unique I caught a bass off of. Imagine going to a lake and knowing before you even launched the boat every spot that has produced good bass for you in the past. Not only that, what the exact date, season, weather condition, lure, lure color, depth, and a whole lot more.
The pictures above show some of my early recordings from when I fished small Bass Club tournaments.
there are some apps and programs on the market where you can log your results To keep track of all this information. I still prefer to write it all down. the reason is simple, you can draw a simple hand sketch of the lake and then put your notes on it. Detailed notes that you understand. I encourage you to create your sheet template with at least the following information…
Date - location- time of day when you caught each fish - number of bass caught- weight of each fish- total weight- lunker weight- weather conditions- weather at the time you caught the bass. (Did the sun pop out?) (Did it suddenly get windy or cloudy?) water conditions- Muddy/ clear/ Stained- is the lake clear but you caught in the bass in a muddy area? there are so many more you decide what to write in your log. Have a big area to sketch the lake and take notes. this will be an important area to draw important things like the Dam, feeder creeks, Bridges, Docks, types of vegetation, points, just to name a few. you can even take pictures with your phone to add some more information. Some anglers like to use check-off boxes so you can quickly fill out the sheet. if you're not good at sketching you could always print out a satellite image of the lake and take notes on it. The idea here is to use whatever is helpful for you to remember the key events of the day. As painful as it is, we all get skunked! This is when you really don't feel like filling out your sheet. I advise you to do it anyway, over the years you will see less zeros and more good fishing days with this method. Even not catching anything will teach you something and make you a better angler. Study the days you did not catch bass and ask yourself. What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? The next time you visit that same body of water you will know what not to do! Ruling out things that did not work helps you get closer to making the right decisions.
Pay attention to the small details that worked when you caught the bass and log it as soon as possible.
one final note… Keeping a fishing log will make you a better bass fisherman, hands down and is a must for all tournament anglers who want to win! I hope this article inspired you to start your own fishing Journal today.
Tight Lines - Bassmanjohn
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